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UCSB scientists demonstrate biomagnification of nanomaterials in simple food chain
Date:12/20/2010

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) An interdisciplinary team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has produced a groundbreaking study of how nanoparticles are able to biomagnify in a simple microbial food chain.

"This was a simple scientific curiosity," said Patricia Holden, professor in UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the corresponding author of the study, published in an early online edition of the journal Nature Nanotechnology. "But it is also of great importance to this new field of looking at the interface of nanotechnology and the environment."

Holden's co-authors from UCSB include Eduardo Orias, research professor of genomics with the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology; Galen Stucky, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and materials; and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and staff researchers Rebecca Werlin, Randy Mielke, John Priester, and Peter Stoimenov. Other co-authors are Stephan Krmer, from the California Nanosystems Institute, and Gary Cherr and Susan Jackson, from the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory.

The research was partially funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR Program, and by the UC Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN), a $24 million collaboration based at UCLA, with researchers from UCSB, UC Davis, UC Riverside, Columbia University, and other national and international partners. UC CEIN is funded by the National Science Foundation and the EPA.

According to Holden, a prior collaboration with Stucky, Stoimenov, Priester, and Mielke provided the foundation for this research. In that earlier study, the researchers observed that nanoparticles formed from cadmium selenide were entering certain bacteria (called Pseudomonas) and accumulating in them. "We already knew that the bacteria were internalizing these nanoparticles from our previous study," Holden said. "And we also knew that Ed
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Contact: George Foulsham
805-893-3071
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

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